UN concerned over Israel’s lack of progress on settler arson case

Published December 3rd, 2015 - 05:08 GMT

A top UN official has voiced concerns over Israel's failure to bring to justice the culprits of an arson attack in late July that claimed the lives of three members of a Palestinian family.

"Four months have passed since the arson attack against the Dawabsheh family," Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement released on Wednesday while expressing worries about “the slow progress” in the case.

The lack of charges was troubling, Mladenov further noted, urging the Israeli authorities “to move swiftly in bringing the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice."

On July 31, a large fire broke out after extremist Israeli settlers threw firebombs and Molotov cocktails into two Palestinian houses in the West Bank town of Duma.

Ali Dawabsheh, an 18-month-old Palestinian baby boy, burned to death as a result of the assault. Ali’s parents, Riham and Sa’ad, later succumbed to their severe burn injuries sustained in the incident.

The arson attack sparked angry reactions from Palestinians, including political as well as resistance groups, and led to widespread condemnation across the globe. However, no individual has been charged for the killings so far.

Over the past few days, Israeli media suggested a breakthrough in the case, but a gag order seems to have prevented details from being published.

Israeli settlers have in recent years carried out various attacks including arson and graffiti on Palestinian property in the occupied West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem) under the “price tag” slogan. The raids have often turned deadly.

Israel’s failure to make arrests in connection with the Dawabsheh case is reportedly among the causes for two months of violence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Tensions have dramatically escalated since the Israeli regime’s imposition of restrictions in August on the entry of Palestinian worshippers to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.

Palestinians say Tel Aviv seeks to change the status quo of al-Aqsa. They are also angry with Israeli extremists who, escorted by army forces, have stepped up their raids on the sensitive site, which is Islam’s third holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.

More than 109 Palestinians and nearly 20 Israelis have been killed in the recent wave of clashes between Palestinians and Israelis since the start of October.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material

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